I’d been having contractions for weeks.  I still 3 days out from my due date, but Friday afternoon I was on the couch crying to my husband that I would be pregnant forever!  Just the night before I had been up for 4.5 hrs (not all in one chunk) with regular contractions.  For the love!  What is a girl to do?

Well, Friday afternoon contractions started once again. They were not regular by any means, but they had changed to more like menstrual cramps so I was secretly hoping that things would end up differently this time.  But mentally and emotionally I was prepared for the same outcome as before.  I sent Jason a text and told him what was going on, but that I didn’t think it would amount to much.  He came home, we had dinner and I was still having contractions.  I decided to run to HyVee for a few items and he told me to text him every time one came.  I walked in the door from the store and he told me they were coming 7 min apart and that he had called his mom (3 hrs away) and had her on alert.  Instantly I burst into tears because I felt like all of a sudden if his mom was on her way that I was under some pressure that this had to be “it”.  We talked about it some and decided that if she was ok with coming even if this was a false alarm that she could start the drive.  Which she did around 7:15 or 7:30 that night.  We got the kids ready for bed a little early and by 7:30 we were getting ready to put on a movie and just rest.  Just in case this was the real thing, I knew I was in for a long night and would need my energy.  By the way, I was still not convinced at this point I was in labor.

It was 8:30pm and I finally decide after several contractions that I was having to breath through that I would text a few close friends and my mom and let them know things could be happening.  I still was debating back and forth about telling anyone… I mean because who knows with these things, right?  WRONG!  My husband was convinced I was in labor and was going about the house getting things ready.  Transferring car seats to the other car, printing our birth plan, getting me snacks.  He was a wonderful coach and support.

Around 9pm I laid down to rest and it seemed like the contractions spaced out a bit, but wow did they get quite strong.  AKA- I said to Jason after breathing through a contraction “Wow, that one was a doozy” – I think at that point things became quite real for me.  I was really focused on my emotional sign posts (something one of the labor books talked about) instead of timing the contractions to know when to go to the hospital.  I just knew I was still at like 4cm or something.  (The day before at my Dr. appointment I was at 3cm and 80% effaced).  I don’t remember much from 9-10pm- except closing my eyes and moaning.  It was intense.  Right around 10pm Jason asked when I wanted to go to the hospital (we were trying to labor at home for as LONG as possible) and I said “We should go.”  Since his mom was still a half an hr out, we called our friend and neighbor Rachel and she came over to watch the kids.  Those next few contractions I grew very short with Jason.  Telling asking him to get my water bottle ready and to start the car.  I wanted to go and I wanted to go now.  Not because I thought we were close to having a baby, but rather I was going to D-I-E in the car with the contractions.  Rachel arrived and I walked out to the kitchen table and had a contraction.  Moaned through it, got my coat and walked to the front door and moaned through another contraction.  Wow.. things were getting intense.

I crawled into the back seat and we were off.  Thankfully my thoughtful husband ran most of the stop signs that night on the way to the hospital.  I had three contractions in the car, number two being dreadful.   After nearly yelling through that contraction (all relaxation techniques out the window at this point) Jason asked if I wanted to push.  I said no.  And I think it was after the third contraction he was trying so hard to be helpful and supportive from the front seat as we were a few blocks from the hospital.  He said “Babe, we are almost to the hospital!”  To which I nearly bit of his head yelling “NO WE ARE NOT!”  (Sign #1  that I should have known thought that I was in transition). I knew exactly where were, but it was NOT close enough for me.  Thankfully that was the last contraction I had to endure in the car.

We got out of the van and I walked through the emergency room automatic doors.  Right then another contraction hit and I was unable to move until it was over.  Guess what?  I was standing right on the sensor for the automatic doors.  Yep, the doors opening and closing through that entire contraction.  Things nearly got nasty. 😉

I finished with that contraction and we walk around the corner to the ER check in (after 10pm they lock the hospital and you have to go through the ER entrance to get anywhere in the hospital).  We quickly walk up to the desk to ask them to open the door to get upstairs and the dreadfully slow old guy calm, cool and collected elderly gentleman asked if we were past 20 weeks pregnant.  Things nearly got nasty again. 😉  Somehow he got it through his head that he should just open the door and let us go through.  Another contraction in the elevator and I was wanting to yell.  We got to the third floor and the doors opened but I was still having my contraction.  My poor honey did not know what to do.  Stay with me and help me through the contraction or let the doors close and who knows where we would end up.  Wow… all I can say is…. wow.  We stayed in the elevator until it finished and thankfully we were still on the third floor.

Finally we make it to the nurses desk and they show us to our room.  Jason says that I had another contraction in the hallway, but I do not remember it.  The nurse tells me that she needs to get my weight and that I need to change into a gown.  Sounds easy enough- right?  I go to step on the scale…. contraction.  Get my weight.  Go to change my clothes…. contraction.  I’m nearly yelling that I need help in the bathroom and at this point my hands start shaking.  (Sign #2 that I’m in transition) Jason comes in and helps me to the bed- another contraction.  I lay down on my back and she goes to put the monitors/belts on my belly and I shove her away in pain.  She says “I HAVE to listen to the baby!”  And I was thinking “You can listen to the baby later!”  It was either that contraction or the next that happened almost immediately that I found myself yelling “I’m PUSHING!” and my water broke.   I remember being pretty scared and overwhelmed at that point.  They still had not checked me  at this point so in my head I was hoping that I was far enough to be pushing and not be doing harm.  The doctor finally made it in (I think she had been sleeping 🙂 ) and said “Um, can I check you?” Yes please!  I should have felt relief when she said “You are at a 10! We are going to have a baby!”  But really I was still pretty scared at this point.  Things were happening far faster than I had originally thought and suddenly there are 6 people in the room running around.  Not to mention the contractions were right on top of each other and the pain/pressure was overwhelming.  Just 2 contractions later I felt him crowning and they said “Just bear down a little and you will have a baby.”  Yeah right, I thought.  I pushed for a good 45 min with Belle and Johnny I pushed about 20 min.  This guy?  Well, I pushed when they said push and suddenly he was born!  I somewhat wish that I had kept my eyes open to see it all happening, but things were quite intense and I just happened to have my eyes closed that entire time.  Wow.  10:58pm that night Kade Patrick Rohlf made his grand entrance into the world!  All 6 lb, 11.5 oz and 20″ of him.

We have tried to figure out exactly how long we were at the hospital.  Rachel said she sent her husband a text at 10:27pm saying we left our house a min earlier.  We had to drive to Mercy Hospital in Iowa City- I would say that is a good 10 min drive.  And then he was born at 10:58 pm…. yep, pretty sure it was about 20 min.  I had told Jason the entire time I was pregnant that I wanted to arrive to the hospital when I was in transition in order to have minimal intervention from the hospital staff and be able to labor at home for as long as possible where it would be much easier to relax.  Little did I know how close we would come to having my wishes met!

Welcome Kade!  We love you and we are so thankful for the best Christmas gift this year!  Love, Mom

Ps.  Glad you took to hear the eviction notice from last week. 🙂